The Church of St. Nicolas is the oldest church in Lithuania. Its Gothic features have been preserved almost unchanged. During the last years of paganism in Lithuania, the Church of St. Nicolas was built by a German community living in Vilnius.
Although Gothic, the Church of St. Nicolas acquired some Baroque features in the 18th and 19th centuries. New windows were cut out, a tower, a vestry and Baroque altars were added, and organs and a Rococo-style organ choir were installed. From 1901 to 1939, the Church of St. Nicolas was the only church in Vilnius in which Mass was celeberated in Lithuanian. It also served as a Lithuanian cultural centre.
During the Soviet occupation, a sculpture of the guardian of Vilnius, St. Christopher, by Antanas Kmieliauskas was erected next to the church. It was an act of resistance since the city’s coat of arms picturing St. Christopher was banned under the Soviet regime.